In 1981, Joe Hocher (co-founder and owner of the Staniel Cay Yacht Club – see www.stanielcay.com) started flying a Piper Cherokee Six to bring supplies into Staniel Cay from Nassau and Fort Lauderdale. About this same time, he founded Watermakers, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, a manufacturing company dedicated to the design, manufacture, and service of reverse osmosis desalination equipment. Of course, the ability to access remote islands via a small plane became a big selling point for the desalination systems that Watermakers, Inc. was installing throughout the Bahamas. Soon, Joe and his Cherokee Six were busy flying parts and providing technical support all over the Bahamas. Over the years, the demands of both the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and of Watermakers, Inc. grew to the point where multiple airplanes (and pilots) became a necessary part of doing business.
In response to demand, Watermakers Air was formed in 2002 for the specific purpose of flying passengers, as well as freight and supplies. Although the name harkens back to the time when our operation was primarily a support division of Watermakers, Inc., we are now a stand-alone FAA certified public charter operator for both passengers and freight.
In 2014, Exuma Cays Travel was formed for the purpose of marketing and selling individual seats on scheduled flights to multiple destinations in the Bahamas. As a “Public Charter Operator,” approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Exuma Cays Travel has full authority to advertise and execute scheduled flights to any approved destination. While Staniel was, and continues to be, a favorite, we now offer scheduled flights to multiple islands in the Bahamas and we expect this list will continue to grow. In short, with the formation of Exuma Cays Travel, we expanded our offering from strictly “On-Demand private charters” to now include “per-seat, scheduled service” and travelers can now access our flight schedule and even book tickets online, as they would with any other commercial airline.
Our customers include vacationers, yacht guests, island residents, yacht personnel, etc. Because the destinations we serve are smaller and more remote, there are few if any direct flights from the States. Thus our service (both passengers and freight) into these destinations has become critical for the small hotels and marinas located there, not to mention the numerous rental properties and home owners in these various islands. With our continued commitment to our customers and to the Islands of the Bahamas, we look forward to even brighter future!